Customs - Afghanistan, Cuba & Iran - February, 2004

Global Hand has sought to help ease logistics challenges by providing information from countries about their customs requirements. For several reasons, the process of gathering this information is difficult…

Firstly, it sometimes takes a great deal of time, on occasion many months, before we get information from the countries we approach. We find ourselves needing to speak to a series of different departments or government bodies and it can be a slow process, therefore. Secondly, we faced difficulties because, in addition to the formal information, informal information, gained on the ground by those with experience, can be exceedingly valuable, too. That’s why all of you are invited to contribute to the Customs discussion in order that we might pool our different areas of experience and help make each others’ lives easier.

Accordingly, we are featuring in these news articles, certain countries and the information we have about them, from a customs perspective, for your response. You might like to check out the many countries listed in the Global Hand Humanitarian Customs Guide and let us know any further information you might like to add or points you might like to clarify. In particular, though, with this news article, we are focusing on the following countries:


Global Hand is seeking any information on importing goods to Afghanistan. It’s a country of great need where, according to UNICEF, under-five mortality is as high as 257 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy is calculated at just 43 years, with an adult literacy rate of only 36%. In addition to these shocking statistics, there are still approximately 400,000 internally-displaced persons in Afghanistan.


The Global Hand customs entry for Cuba links to the UNOCHA Customs Directory for Cuba. We are still looking for a more complete offering on humanitarian customs regulations for Cuba.


After the recent earthquake in Bam, which killed over 43,000 people, we are looking for any updated customs information for Iran. We currently list an overview of Iran’s customs regulations, detailing the required documents, prohibited goods, and other information, together with a number of documents and links to related organisations. We would appreciate any additional information you may have.

Can You Help?

Do you have any customs information for these countries that may help us? For example, do you have:

  • Any customs laws/regulations that could be faxed to us?
  • Experience on importing goods to a particular country, that you would like to share with the GH community?
  • Sources of information whom we could contact?
  • Stories from your own experience?

Please visit the guide to humanitarian customs regulations for information on over 170 countries.